AMHERST-PELHAM REGIONAL SCHOOL COMMITTEE
AMHERST SCHOOL COMMITTEE
PELHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE
170 CHESTNUT STREET
The School Committee encourages parents and other interested citizensto attend its public meetings. The Regional School Committee isresponsible for the operations of the Middle School and High School,Grades 7 – 12, which serve students from the Towns of Amherst, Pelham,Leverett, and Shutesbury. The Regional School Committee generally meetson the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the HighSchool library. The Amherst School Committee, which meets on the thirdTuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the High School library, isresponsible for the operations of the four elementary schools inAmherst: CrockerFarmSchool, FortRiverSchool, Mark’s MeadowSchool, andWildwoodSchool. The Pelham School Committee is responsible for theoperations of the PelhamElementary School and meets in thePelhamCommunityBuilding at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month.
School Committee Function
The Committee represents the entire community and establisheseducational goals and policies for the operation of the school system. In addition, the School Committee reviews and approves budgets; is theemployer for collective bargaining; and selects, appoints, and evaluatesthe Superintendent. The Committee reaches decisions by majority vote. The Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 set strict legal limitson the roles, responsibilities, and power of a School Committee.
A printed agenda is followed at each meeting. The agenda is preparedduring the week prior to each meeting and is designed to allow areasonable and specified time on each item for presentations to theCommittee, Committee discussion and action, and for public comments. Aperiod of time (Announcements and Public Comment) is allocated at thebeginning of the meeting for comments on matters not on the agenda. Inaddition to information received at a meeting, the Committee receivesreports, requests and suggestions from staff members, individualcitizens, or representatives of delegations. The Superintendent ofSchools, or his/her representative, presents the school administrativerecommendation on any item requiring action. For agenda items, theprotocol is for the Superintendent to present an item. Following this,members of the School Committee may comment on the item. Finally, theCommittee Chair will recognize members of the staff or public who wishto comment, if time permits. Persons who wish to speak to the Committeeare requested to identify themselves, to limit their comments to amaximum of five minutes, and to speak only once on an item. TheCommittee Chair will remind persons of time constraints as the meetingprogresses. Agenda items have been selected and arranged in a manner toprovide time for reasonable consideration and action on all items andto provide for adjournment no later than 10:00 p.m. At times,discussion may be limited to members of the Committee in order totransact business. Under the State’s open meeting law, all SchoolCommittee meetings are open to the public, except for ExecutiveSessions. A public forum on a specific topic may be scheduled by theSchool Committee to allow the Committee to hear community members’views, concerns, and questions about that issue.
Parents and community members who are not native English speakers andwould like to utilize the services of a translator in addressing theCommittee should notify the Superintendent’s office a few days prior tothe meeting so that such services can be secured.
Any person wishing to have an item placed on the Committee agendashould present the item to the Superintendent of Schools or theCommittee Chair at least one week before the date of the next regularlyscheduled meeting. The Committee Chair will schedule the item on theSchool Committee’s next agenda if time is available or will refer theitem to an administrator, who can respond directly to the item. Submission of written statements of explanation or support for anyagenda item is encouraged. Such statements are helpful to the Committeeas they consider the issues involved.
Concerns, problems, and complaints about the schools first should bebrought to the attention of a teacher (or appropriate schoolpersonnel). School Committee members may be contacted for informationabout the school district’s policies, and they can suggest theappropriate person to contact with a specific problem or complaint. Ifthe issue is not resolved, it should be referred next to the Principal. If necessary, the issue then can be referred to the Superintendent. (2006)